;

“I left New York City where I worked on Wall Street and was surrounded by many close friends and relocated to Madrid with no job and no friends. I have never felt so free and alive.”


In August of 2003 I moved to Spain. There was no logical reason for my move and, yet there was no hypothetical reason that could have prevented me from going. The impetus lay deep inside my mind, unknown to even me, but its presence was undeniable. I left New York City where I worked on Wall Street and was surrounded by many close friends and relocated to Madrid with no job and no friends. I have never felt so free and alive.

My vegetarian inclinations quickly disappeared when I realized the cultural importance that food, particularly pork, plays in understanding the Spanish people and their culture. If I truly wanted to connect with my new neighbors, I soon realized I must be open to eat and drink as they did since most social occasions revolved around meals, particularly long and animated ones. The first time the razor-thin slices of jamon iberico (spanish ham) melted over my tongue, I could feel some dusty pleasure center in my brain waking up. My Spanish companions could see the lights brighten behind my eyes with each bite, galvanizing them to unveil more Spanish culinary gems, like all kinds of Spanish wine, seafood from Galicia including navajas (razor clams) and percebes (barnacles), pimientos padron (fried green peppers) or cordero (baby lamb) and cuchinillo (suckling pig). If there is something for which I envy our Spanish counterparts, it is the reverence they hold for their place of origin and the pleasure they derive from sharing it with outsiders. This pride is most easily expressed in the currency of food and wine. The passion with which they showcase and celebrate their regional specialities create not only palate memories, but also images, smells and sensations rich in colors, laughter and nostalgia.

I phoned my older sister, Karen, who was a Sous Chef at a top restaurant in San Francisco on a regular basis to divulge each culinary and enological discovery. It wasn’t long before she too left the US to explore and experience this culinary carnival with me.

More Articles

New 10th Season Starts January 18th!

All you need to know about our new season of Wisconsin Foodie. Links to the TV Schedule, Facebook, and Youtube. Check it out!

by: Arthur Ircink

A Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve

Kick off 2018 in style at Milwaukee’s landmark art deco hotel. In partnership with Wisconsin Foodie and Edible Milwaukee, the Ambassador presents “A Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve”.

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Usingers & Karl Ratzsch

On the season finale of Wisconsin Foodie, we look at two of Milwaukee’s oldest food institutions: Karl Ratzsch and Usinger’s Sausage!

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Anarchy Acres

This week on foodie, we see some extreme farming on Anarchy Acres! Charlie Tennessen and his three donkeys plow the fields to raise some heritage wheats to make some unique breads!

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Iron Grate BBQ & Twist and Sprout Farms

This week on Foodie, we go slow and low with Iron Grate BBQ’s Chef Aaron Patin as he shares his barbecue views as well as where he gets his pork from Twist and Sprout Farms.

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Red Cabin at Green Acres & Idlewile Inn

We check out a couple of couples and their suppers clubs with Red Cabin at Green Acres and Idlewile Inn.

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Juice Kitchen & Tandem

This week on Foodie, we go try some of The Juice Kitchen’s nutritious juices then walk up the street to Tandem and their incredible fried chicken.

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Roots Chocolate & Bos Meadery

This week on Foodie, we check out Roots Chocolate’s delectable delights and wash it down with Bos Meadery’s magical mead!

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Morel Fest & Meisters Cheese

This week on Foodie, we loved Muscoda so much that we stuck around for Morel Fest and then went to Meisters Cheese!

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Forage, Fish, Feast

This week on Foodie, we venture into nature to harvest wild asparagus, morels, and fish. After collect our ingredients, Luke Zahm of Driftless Café works them into a delicious meal!

by: Arthur Ircink

Illing Co
Winter Smorgasbord
WMMB - Rotational AD
Our Media Partners
Wisconsin Foodie Winter Smörgåsbord is proud to have the support of the following partners:

Copyright © 2017 Wisconsin Foodie. All rights reserved.

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Wisconsin Foodie